November is International Nerve Pain Awareness Month
Nerve Pain is Debilitating for Millions of People
The world is full of chronic pain conditions that impact people’s lives in various ways. Things that were once easy become increasingly difficult. People can no longer do the things that brought them joy. Their overall quality of life drastically reduces. However, in the month of November, there is one form of chronic pain we would like to focus on, and that is nerve pain.
Chronic nerve pain affects millions of people every single year. There are over 150 conditions that lead to nerve pain, so each case differs from the next. Because nerve pain is such an issue across the world, the International Pain Foundation hosts International Nerve Pain Awareness Month each year to create awareness about the many different conditions that cause nerve pain and the impact this pain has.
Also referred to as NERVEmber™, International Nerve Pain Awareness Month aims to spread essential information regarding nerve pain to give others a better understanding of what many go through. The color orange is the international color of chronic pain awareness. People all across the world are encouraged to wear orange to show their support to those suffering from chronic nerve pain.
Nerve pain comes in many shapes and forms, affecting millions of people every year. It can be hard to identify the source of this pain, which is why you need an experienced pain management doctor. If you or someone you love suffers from chronic nerve pain, contact our Frisco pain management clinic at Texas Partners Healthcare Group today.
What is Nerve Pain?
Nerve pain (also referred to as neuralgia or neuropathic pain) is a condition that impacts the nerves responsible for carrying messages and sensations to the brain. This pain is distinct and feels much different than other forms of pain.
For many, nerve pain feels like shooting, stabbing, or burning sensations. It can either be acute or chronic, coming and going. Individuals suffering from nerve pain are often sensitive to touch or cold. Stimuli that would usually have no effect on them (such as something lightly rubbing up on their skin) is now painful.
The body is full of nerves that relay sensations to the brain. While pain causes discomfort, it plays a vital function: it prevents injury and further bodily harm. However, for people with nerve pain, this system of sending and receiving messages is disrupted. Your brain receives these signals, and you feel pain, but there is no cause.
Some essential nerve pain symptoms include:
- Stabbing, throbbing, or burning sensation
- Pins and needles sensation
- Loss of reflexes
- Extreme sensitivity to touch
- Lack of coordination
- Muscle weakness
Naturally, individuals who suffer from nerve pain are always looking for pain relief. However, they must first identify the cause of this pain in order to treat it effectively.
Causes of Nerve Pain
As we mentioned earlier, there are over 150 conditions that can cause nerve pain. Typically, nerve pain is a sign of a severe underlying health condition. Many of these conditions can be life-threatening if they are not treated quickly.
Some of the common causes of nerve pain include:
- Degenerative disc disease
- Complex regional pain syndrome (CRPS)
- Cancer and tumors (chemotherapy can also damage nerves)
- Multiple sclerosis
- Carpal tunnel syndrome
- Traumatic injury to the brain, spine, or nerves
- Deficiency in vitamins B1, B6, B12, E, and niacin
- Peripheral neuropathy
These are just a handful of the many conditions that can cause nerve pain. Each of them affects the nerves in your body in many ways. In the case of degenerative disc disease, pressure is placed on the spinal cord or the nerves surrounding your spine. In the case of diabetes, high levels of glucose in the blood (blood sugar) damages the nerves.
Depending on the cause of nerve pain, your treatment may vary. A pain management doctor must first identify the cause of your chronic pain to help you find pain relief.
Treating Nerve Pain
Your treatment for nerve pain will depend on what is causing it. For conditions such as diabetes, HIV, or cancer, treating the underlying issue is the priority. As you treat that condition, you will also treat your nerve pain.
However, in many cases, treating an underlying health condition might not be enough. Nerve pain might require its own treatment to provide pain relief. However, there are several methods that we use at our Frisco pain management clinic to treat nerve pain, such as:
- Certain medications:
- Over-the-counter pain medications
- Vitamin boosters
- Topical treatments: These treatments can help ease nerve pain, typically in a specific area.
- Electrical stimulation: TENS (transcutaneous electrical nerve stimulation) machines use electrical impulses to block pain messages sent by damaged nerves. Electrical stimulation is non-invasive and painless.
- Steroid injections
- Physical therapy
There are a handful of treatment options available to you that will help you find pain relief. Again, the type of treatment you receive will depend on your unique case. However, with the help of our pain management doctors, you will receive a unique and personalized pain management plan that will utilize multiple treatment methods to provide you pain relief.
The Importance of International Nerve Pain Awareness Month
Nerve pain impacts millions of people’s lives every day. There is still a lot about this pain that many people don’t understand. The goal of NERVEmber™ is to spread vital information about nerve pain, such as common symptoms and causes of it, as well as what people go through.
There are countless individuals out there who are currently living with nerve pain that don’t understand it or know what to do. International Nerve Pain Awareness Month aims to provide everyone with vital information and resources to help them learn more and seek treatment if they are in pain. The color orange is the international color for chronic pain awareness, so use this color to show your support and help spread crucial information that might help those living in pain.
If you or someone you love currently lives with chronic nerve pain, contact Texas Partners Healthcare Group today. Our team of healthcare providers will create a personalized treatment plan specifically for you.